Scheduled full hip and knee replacements at the Trail hospital remain on hold pending the outcome of a review into the rise of respective post-op infections. (Photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash)

Joint replacement surgery still on hold at KBRH

Full hip and knee replacements have been on hold since December after a confirmed infection increase

Full hip and knee replacements at the Trail hospital remain on hold pending the outcome of a study into the rise of post-op infections.

Elective (scheduled) joint replacement surgeries were stopped in December, affecting 37 people, after six patients were confirmed to have infections after surgery.

No specific strain has been isolated to all six cases – but all were related to pre-operative or post-operative care with this specific type of surgery.

“We are currently reviewing a draft report from the infection prevention and control practitioner who visited the site in December, ” Jane Cusden, Kootenay Boundary acute health services administrator, told the Trail Times Monday.

“As well as some internal work that started prior to the start of the formal review.”

Cusden says Interior Health (IH) expects to have an update for patients and Kootenay Boundary communities within the next few weeks. However, she cautioned timing of a public statement, which will include any IH actions, will depend on respective discussions and a review of information.

Only elected joint surgeries have been suspended.

Other procedures have continued because an infection increase was only identified in that particular discipline, Cusden clarified.

“Our Infection Prevention and Control team monitors infection rates in other surgeries and disciplines,” she explained. “We did not see the increase we identified in full hip and knee joint replacement cases with other procedures, and surgeons were specifically concerned with full hip and knee replacements.”

Cusden added, “However, while the review is focused on elective full joint replacements, IH anticipates that some recommendations, learnings, and/or improvements from the review will benefit KBRH surgical processes in general.”

Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital launched a review of elective joint replacement surgeries in last month after six patients were confirmed with infections post-operatively.

Surgical infections can results from a wide range of factors, including the patients themselves, or related to pre and post surgical care.

Five orthopedic surgeons work out of KBRH, and perform between 275 and 325 joint replacements each year.

“Interior Health really regrets the impact to patients whose surgeries have been postponed,” Cusden said.

“We are going to re-book these patients as a priority once the service review is completed.”

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